Trout Fishing Tips

Trout are a very enjoyable species of fish to spend your time trying to catch. In this article, I'm going to discuss some tips that should help you catch more trout. When I speak of trout, I'm referring to the basic trout species that can be found throughout the United States. These species would include: Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Cutthroat, and Bull Trout. Although there are variations in temperament, colors, and size within these groups of trout, the methods for trying to catch them are similar. Below are some general trout fishing tips to help you catch more of any or all of the species listed above, especially in river and stream situations.
Size Matters - When it comes to trout fishing, the size of your gear and bait matter. In most trout fishing situations, ultra light to light gear and bait is the way to go. Unless of course you happen to be fishing for the monster Great Lakes visiting Brown Trout of the Midwest, in which case heavier gear will be necessary. I personally use a 5 foot ultra light rod and ultra light reel spooled with four for almost all of my trout fishing, and catch very large trout on a setup just like this. As far as hooks, the biggest I use for trout fishing with live bait is size 10. When it comes to lures, small lures are what you want to use as well. I personally don't normally fish for trout with spinners and spoons that are bigger than ¼ ounce. And minnow-type plugs shouldn't exceed four inches long, in my opinion when fishing for trout.
Clothing Matters - In river and stream situations when the angler is wading in an attempt to catch fish, the color of your clothing matters. Loud colors or even plain white, stand out and the fish will be able to see you. I always wear drab colors to blend in with the background as much as possible. Trout in rivers and streams can become vary wary of anglers, so not standing out works to the anglers' advantage. Simply pick a t-shirt that's brown or grey. As apposed to bright red or bright white.
Smell Matters - I'm not talking about the kind of deodorant you use. I'm speaking of the scent on your hands. All varieties of trout have a very sensitive sense of smell and can detect unnatural odors. For example, if you smoke, when you're done with a cigarette your hands smell like an ashtray. This smell then transfers to whatever you touch (if you don't believe me, just ask a non smoker if this is the case.) Therefore, when you touch the bait or lure to attach it to your hook or line, that scent gets on your bait! This will cost you a ton of bites. In most situations a trout will "sniff" the bait before biting it. If it stinks like an ashtray, there will be no biting. I suggest both grabbing a handful of weeds or dirt and rubbing it in your hands periodically, just in case any unnatural scants are on your hands. This simple tip will result in more bites.
Presentation Matters - Trout are a very intelligent species of fish. Whatever bait you chose to use must be presented in the most natural way possible. This is especially true with live bait. You want your bait to look as natural as possible. This is why I use a set of pre-tied gang hooks, because they enable me to present my live bait in an amazingly natural way. With trout in a river or stream situation, presentation matters as much as any other single aspect.
If you begin using these tips, you will start catching more trout. Actually, all I can promise is that you will get more bites, the setting of the hook, and actually fighting the trout, are in your hands. These tips will definitely help you get more bites, which is really what we're all in search of, right?
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…..Montana!

Jig Fishing Techniques

Today's soft plastic lure market is booming with new styles and colors of baits, but when you are looking for the biggest bite of the day, the fish that consistently win tournaments; then anglers in the know go to the bait that has been proven over time to catch the biggest bass; the venerable jig-and-pig. 20 years ago, this bait was reserved for the sluggish bass, or for fishing in the heaviest cover, or for bottom fishing techniques. Today, this bait is being used at all times of the year, in a variety of different fashions.
This bait has remained relatively the same over the past 30 years. It has gone through some cosmetic changes, such as better hooks, livelier skirts, and a broader spectrum of colors and sizes, along with plastic trailers, which enable a wider variety of color options, but this bait, dressed with either plastic or pork, continues to catch bigger bass when other baits fail. Because of the popularity of the flipping technique used by most of the veteran anglers today, the jig has remained among the most popular baits in many anglers tackle boxes. Because of so many recreational anglers concentrating on the flipping technique, the jig's universal effectiveness has been overlooked.
Many people have forgotten that casting a jig is an effective technique also. The jig can be presented at a lot of different depths and around a variety of structure. You are really limiting yourself if you only focus on the flipping aspect of it. Many times during the summer months, we have come in behind other anglers flipping obvious targets, or casting more traditional summer lures, and we have caught bass making roll casts, and looking for isolated pieces of cover that other anglers have missed.
Jig sizes have changed in recent years, along with skirt material and colors. The 3/8 ounce size remains the most popular, with smaller versions are being used more and more with great success. The smaller finesse type of jigs are much more effective in clear water, while the heavier, bulky versions are great for fishing stained to muddy water. Not that the heavier jig isn't effective in some shallower, open water, but a more compact 1/2 ounce bait is more effective, than the bulkier style. I use a shorter trailer for this. This is especially true when fishing some of the finger lakes of New York State, or any of the waters where smallmouth bass are also present. The heavier jig is more effective when the bass are aggressive, as it allows you to fish it faster and cover more water. When the fish are suspended, or you need to keep it in the strike zone longer, the lighter jig is more effective. We always keep experimenting with several sizes, letting the bass tell us what they want. In the summer months, when we swim the jig around boat docks, we opt for the lighter 1/4 ounce size, with a plastic trailer, to imitate a crawfish or baitfish. Swimming the jig is a very effective technique that is overlooked by many weekend anglers. Most small jigs don't have a big enough hook to handle quality bass, which is why we use a Spotsticker handpoured Jighead. We have been using this bait since 2002, when we had great success with it in several local tournaments in cold water as well as in the summer. The Spotsticker has a bigger hook than most, and it handles larger bass well. In warmer, clear water, we like to use a grub or swimming worm as a trailer, this is very effective when you are trying to imitate a crawfish. In colder, or more stained to muddy waters, we like a bulkier trailer, as they displace more water and make it easier for the bass to home in on the bait.
The design of the jighead is another thing you have to think about. They need to be matched to the type of cover you are fishing. A jig that has a head that is more pointed, with its eyelet coming out of the front rather than the top, is going to pull through weeds better than a broad shouldered jig. We like to use a Jungle Jig, by Northland, or a Terminator Pro's Top Secret jig for this. The Terminator has a recessed eye, as does Mann's Stone jig designed by Mike Iaconelli, and they all come through this cover well.These jigs helped us win the Big Bass World Championship several times. They were very effective here in the Northeast, in some of the heavier, weedy cover. When we fish around rocks and wood, we use a jig with more shoulders to help stop it sometimes. Many companies make this type of football or stand up jig, which is great for these situations. When you pull it over an object, the jig tips, adding more action. We have used these jigs effectively on many of New Jersey's reservoirs such as Spruce Run. You must also match the size of the line to the size of the jig hook you are using. A heavy-duty jig hook requires a stronger hook set, so you need heavier line to handle it.
Of course, it helps to know when you're getting a bite. Big bass really thump a jig with the same vigor they do a plastic worm, and many other strikes are felt simply as spongy sensation, or just like you're dragging weeds. That's why it is important to set the hook on anything that feels unnatural, it could be weeds, or it could be a seven pounder!
While a black and blue jig seems to be the favorite, we like to match jig colors to the water conditions. A dark colored jig with a big crawfish trailer, moving on the bottom, does a great job imitating a crawfish, but a white jig swimming over cover and around boat docks does a good job of imitating a baitfish. This is great when bass want a slower presentation, or when you can't fish a crankbait or jerkbait with ease. Many times when bass are feeding on shad, but want a slower presentation than a spinnerbait, this is the best choice. It can also catch the bigger bass that are ignoring the spinnerbait. The new "Sweet Beavers" by Andre moore's company, "Reaction Innovations", have been the hottest and most productive soft plastic this year all over the country.
We like the plastic trailers in the summer months, and the pork in the winter.The new Uncle Josh Pork is more pliable in cold water, while plastic gets stiff. In places where many anglers cast tubes or small finesse worms, such as clear water flats, we cast jigs in neutral colors, and catch bigger bass. Many times when bass ignore other baits, the jig will trigger a strike. This is also a great bait for night fishing.